Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in anti-government protests and activists reported clashes in several districts on Saturday, the eve of a Formula One Grand Prix race.
Formula One drivers race in Bahrain while rage boils on the streets outside, among protesters who denounce the Grand Prix as a gaudy spectacle by a ruling family that crushed Arab Spring demonstrations last year.
Bahraini forces, backed by helicopters, fired tear gas in a crackdown on protesters, clearing hundreds from a camp that had become the symbol of an uprising by the island's Shi'ite Muslim majority.
Bahrain cut curfew hours and urged residents to return to work after a crackdown on mainly Shi'ite Muslim protesters this week raised tensions in the world's largest oil-producing region.
Thousands of Bahrainis shouting "we are victorious" gathered for a rally for political reform, in the first large demonstration since the Gulf Arab state crushed a democracy protest movement in March.
Tens of thousands of mainly Shi'ite Bahrainis gathered in Manama yesterday, officially declared a day of mourning, in one of the biggest protests since unrest erupted 10 days ago.
Police fired tear gas and water cannon at demonstrators protesting against Bahrain's royal family in one of the most violent confrontations since troops killed seven protesters last month.
Bahrain's king declared martial law as his government struggled to quell an uprising by the island's Shi'ite Muslim majority that has drawn in troops from fellow Sunni-ruled neighbor Saudi Arabia.
Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand for the second year in a row for Red Bull to extend his overall lead to 10 points after four races.
Bahrain riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades at anti-government activists and members of the Force India race team were caught up in a petrol bomb incident as unrest simmered ahead of this weekend's Formula One Grand Prix.
Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Grand Prix in Bahrain on Sunday while rage boiled beyond the circuit among protesters who say the island's rulers should not have hosted the race after crushing Arab Spring demonstrations last year.
Pro-democracy protesters burned tyres and clashed with police in Bahrain today to demand the release of opposition leaders and rights activists, one of whom has been on a three-month hunger strike, residents said.